by Susan Gulliford
Over 10 million people call Georgia home and they all want a safe place to live and work. The ValuePenguin team analyzed 99 cities with populations of more than 5,000 to determine the safest cities in the Peach State. The crime scores ranged from 413 to 8,227.
The takeaway from this research was that there was no typical safe city in Georgia. Large, mid-size, and small cities all made the top five. Some of the safest cities had affluent, highly-educated populations and others were more middle-class. For more details, you can review the report here.
5 Safest Places in Georgia
These cities had an average crime score of 470, which was 83% lower than their typical peer in the state. With some of its lowest total violent crime rates, these five are the safest places in the state.
1. Johns Creek
With a population of over 84,000, Johns Creek is the largest city in the top five. It is a suburb northeast of Atlanta. In addition to its low rate of violent crime, Johns Creek had the lowest rate of property crime. This city is very affluent with a median household income more than double the median for Georgia and a very low rate of poverty.
The safest city in the mid-size category is the second safest overall. Grovetown had the fifth-lowest rate of violent crime and the second-lowest rate of property crime of any city. The police department has programs such as a house watches for when residents are away from home to keep crime low. Grovetown is a middle-class community with a median household income slightly above the median for Georgia and is located approximately 12 miles from Augusta, Ga.
3. Flowery Branch
The smallest city in this research comes in at third. It is a middle-class community with a median household income of $62,863 and is situated 14 minutes from Gainesville, Ga. Flowery Branch had zero violent crimes reported in 2014 and the fifth-lowest rate of property crime.
Milton (population of 36,702) is the second "large" city in the top five. The 39 police officers in Milton work hard to keep crime low. It had the second-lowest rate of violent crime in addition to a low rate of violent crime. This community is very affluent with a median household income 2.2 times the median for the state of Georgia.
This small town with a population of approximately 7,000 is 25 miles south of Atlanta. The city had the third-lowest rate of violent crime for 2014. The city has a median household income and homeownership rate above the averages for Georgia .
Although we adjusted for population in our crime rankings, it is still difficult to compare a small town to a large city. To account for this fact, we separated the safest cities into three categories: towns with populations between 5,000 and 10,000, midsize cities with populations between 10,000 and 25,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 25,000. Here are our findings:
Full List of Places in Georgia
Below is the entire list of places that we included in our “Safest Places in Georgia” study. They are listed from the safest to the least safe, according to our analysis. The calculation for the crime scores can be found in the methodology section below. Take a look at the graph and see where your hometown ranks.
There was a great deal of consistency from 2015 to 2016. Four of the five safest places this year were in the top five for 2015. Johns Creek moved up from number two last year to claim the top spot for 2016. Milton and Flowery Branch switched spots while Tyrone held steady as the fifth-safest place in both years.
Grovetown, which broke into the top five this year, was the safest mid-sized city for two years in a row. Its presence meant that every size category had one representative in the top five. Seven of the ten safest mid-sized cities from 2015 made it into the top ten for 2016.
Johns Creek was the safest large city for two years in a row. In fact, the exact same big cities comprised the top five for 2015 and 2016. The large cities category had the most consistency with nine out of ten cities from the 2015 list repeating in 2016.
To rank these places, we collected data from the 2014 FBI crime statistics by city, which provides the most recent crime data available. Not every town participates in this report and we also excluded towns with fewer than 5,000 residents because towns with small populations are more sensitive to crime score fluctuations for fewer crimes committed. The raw data report included property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson), and violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) from all law enforcement agencies that chose to partake in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program.
We standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100,000, to account for population. Then, we aggregated a “crime score” by weighting violent crime at 80% and property crime at 20%. Though property crime is more prevalent, we figured that violent crime is more concerning to town residents. Then we adjusted the crime score for population size, giving more slack to larger cities. Finally, we ranked the cities based on their crime scores.
Here is an alphabetical table of all cities included with their ranks, making it easier to compare different cities. See where your city lies!
Crime per 100K
Crime per 100K